Tuesday, October 06, 2015


Does this sound crazy to you?
In one of his signature Facebook Q&As Monday night, Ben Carson again weighed in on the Oregon shooting, writing that he had operated on victims of gun violence "but I never saw a body with bullet holes that was more devastating than taking the right to arm ourselves away."
How about this?
"If I had a little kid in kindergarten somewhere I would feel much more comfortable if I knew on that campus there was a police officer or somebody who was trained with a weapon," [Carson] says. Including the teacher? "If the teacher was trained in the use of that weapon and had access to it, I would be much more comfortable if they had one than if they didn't."
Or this?
Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson speculated on Tuesday about what he would have done had he been at the Oregon college where a gunman opened fire last week.

The Republican presidential candidate weighed in on the hypothetical during a "Fox & Friends" interview.

"I'm glad you asked that question. Because not only would I probably not cooperate with him, I would not just stand there and let him shoot me," Carson said.

He speculated that he would have organized a response.

"I would say, 'Hey guys! Everybody attack him! He may shoot me but he can't get us all!'" Carson exclaimed.
If some or all of that sounds insane to you, then you must not be a Republican. In a sane country -- in a sane party -- the notion that gun ownership is more precious than the lives of innocent shooting victims, including children, would be a campaign-ender.

In the GOP, it's almost certain that Carson is winning the week with remarks like these. (He's also beaten Hillary Clinton in three straight polls, so the rest of us either accept this kind of talk or are too numb to react with appropriate outrage.)

Carson has already been gaining on Donald Trump in the aftermath of his declaration that Muslims are Constitution-hating religious fanatics unless proven otherwise and thus aren't suited to run for president, and in the aftermath of his decision to launch the #IAmAChristian hashtag campaign in response to the Oregon massacre. (It's an article of faith on the right that the Oregon massacre was specifically aimed at Christians, even though, as I've noted, there are reasons for serious skepticism about that.) Carson beat Donald Trump by 7 points in an Investor's Business Daily/TIPP poll released Friday, the day of the massacre; the Muslim-bashing almost certainly can be credited with propelling Carson into the lead. Carson is also tied with Trump in Pennsylvania according to a new Mercyhurst University poll, and a national poll sponsored by the Club for Growth (which, it should be noted, loathes Trump) has Carson leading Trump by 5 points.

Expect more of this, because America is a depraved country, and the GOP is an especially depraved party. The gun talk will meet with widespread cheers on the right -- and it probably won't hurt him at all in the middle.


UPDATE: How does the increasingly tone-deaf New York Times summarize at all this heartless trolling and faux-swagger? This way:
Like many Republican presidential candidates who have sought to express sympathy for the victims while maintaining their support for gun rights, Mr. Carson appeared to struggle to address the issue with sensitivity.
Yes, that was his problem, right? He wanted to be sensitive, but it was just such a struggle.


Ed Baptist said...

This always worked in western movies where anyone can grab up a gun and shoot the villain full of holes without really trying or mowing down innocent bystanders. Anyway, for all his blowhard talk about Hitler, he's perfectly willing to use whatever government force he can marshal to prevent gun control even when people want it.

CWolf said...

There were GGWGs on campus during the murders.
They all ran, away from the shooting.

Unknown said...

This is a most excellent policy issue that former contributing citizen Ben Carson may well cause his entire campaign to pivot about. We have yet to have a major party nominee choose to concentrate their national campaign so boldly, singularly and violently since Barry Goldwater ran on infinity extremism. I predict that this shift will result in Carson soon leading in the GOP primary season polls to much the same effect as did Herman Cain in 2012 with his brilliant '999' tax reform plea.

Is the country as a whole ready to elect a guns-blazing Jeebus-licking conversationally-whacked-out Rain Man as its president? MAYBE: let's find out!

Chai T. Ch'uan said...

I'm looking forward to an interviewer being brave enough to ask Carson how he holds both views in his head at the same time without having a cognitive dissonance aneurysm:

"If I had a little kid in kindergarten somewhere I would feel much more comfortable if I knew ... he ... would say, 'Hey guys! Everybody attack him! He may shoot me but he can't get us all!'"